ING2 (inhibitor of growth protein-2) is a member of the ING-gene family and participates in diverse cellular processes involving tumor suppression, DNA repair, cell cycle regulation, and cellular senescence. As a subunit of the Sin3 histone deacetylase complex co-repressor complex, ING2 binds to H3K4me3 to regulate chromatin modification and gene expression. Additionally, ING2 recruits histone methyltransferase (HMT) activity for gene repression, which is independent of the HDAC class I or II pathway. However, the physiological function of ING2 in mouse preimplantation embryo development has not yet been characterized previously. The expression, localization and function of ING2 during preimplantation development were investigated in this study. We showed increasing expression of ING2 within the nucleus from the 4-cell embryo stage onwards; and that down-regulation of ING2 expression by endoribonuclease-prepared small interfering RNA (esiRNA) microinjection results in developmental arrest during the morula to blastocyst transition. Embryonic cells microinjected with ING2-specific esiRNA exhibited decreased blastulation rate compared to the negative control. Further investigation of the underlying mechanism indicated that down-regulation of ING2 significantly increased expression of p21, whilst decreasing expression of HDAC1. These results suggest that ING2 may play a crucial role in the process of preimplantation embryo development through chromatin regulation.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.